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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sprawling distribution center creates greater market access in provinces

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Built with the vision of delivering the needs and wants of consumers across the country, the 70,000-square meter SM Distribution Center (DC) started from a small warehouse in Echague, Manila.

“Previously, all the vendors delivered directly to all the branches. But those were limited to Metro Manila, not VisMin. Through the DC, we were able to deliver all the needs of the store, making products available in all areas,” said Rose Siaco of SM Store. Siaco led the SM Distribution Center from 2004 to 2022.

The SM Distribution Center serves the customers of 75 SM Store branches across the country with the bulk of the distribution or nearly 70 percent consisting of provincial stores. Whether the merchandise is coming from Davao and going to SM Baguio, the Distribution Center got it covered.

SM Retail vice president Tim Gohoc, who is also managing the SM Distribution Center, said that “it is through a collaboration with MSMEs, customers and logistics partners that we aspire to create a seamless and eco-friendly supply chain network that minimizes environmental impact while maximizing operational efficiency.”

The center leverages innovative technologies to further enhance their services and support businesses of all sizes.

“Aligned with SM Group’s commitment to grow and enable areas outside of the NCR, coupled with today’s rising consumer demand and expectations, efficient logistics is critical in creating a delightful supplier or partner and customer experience. The SM Distribution Center provides reliability of the supply chain essential to sustained economic activity,” said Frederic DyBuncio, president and chief executive of SM Investments Corp.

Inclusive growth

A one-stop drop for SM’s suppliers is what the SM Distribution Center has become.

Burlington Industries Philippines Inc., the country’s biggest local socks brand, shares how instrumental the DC was to their growth.

“When we started with SM decades ago, we were just starting out in the industry and had a small operation with a modest number of machines. Through the support of SM and our continuous innovation, we were able to grow the business,” said Kaye Tan-Ong, head of sales and marketing at Burlington Industries Philippines Inc.

“Initially, we would deliver our products directly to the branches, however, as SM quickly expanded, our logistics posed some difficulty as we had to deliver to multiple branches which are very far from our factory. We were glad that SM offered the DC services so we could deliver our items hassle free,” said Ong.

SM’s collaboration with other industries including logistics and shipping also grew because of the volume of merchandise that needs to be delivered.

“What happened is that the suppliers deliver their goods to the DC and we handle the distribution of the goods nationwide either by land, sea, or air to be able to accomplish our commitment to have the merchandise just in time,” Siaco said.

Gohoc said that “product availability in markets is achieved by prioritizing efficiency, accountability and security, implementing processes that safeguard the goods we handle benefiting both SM suppliers and SM customers.”

From 210 suppliers in 2004, the SM Distribution Center now serves and supports 2,100 suppliers – helping them propel their growth.

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